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“One day”

“One day” (Auru hi). 1985. Published by shinjyuku publishing. (image courtesy of sharon)

Letter from the Dean

Letter from the Editor

Small Solutions to Big Problems

Using an Algorithm to Solve Disease Mysteries

Shedding New Light on Cellular Dynamics

People, Places and Things

National Endowment for the Humanities Awards

Guggenheim Foundation Fellowships

Drink Your Milk and Take Your Vitamins

Tinkering with the Biological Clock

Strangers in Their Own Lands

Will the Publishers Perish?

Past Meets Present

Strangers in Their Own Lands

Sharon Yoon ’04—Korean Minorities in Asian Lands

Sharon Yoon ’04 is researching how Korean minorities in Japan and Chinese minorities in Korea form their own identities. “No one thinks they’re minorities. They’re small in number and invisible because you can’t tell from how they look,” Yoon says.

Yoon spent five months researching in Tokyo, Seoul, and smaller cities in Japan and Korea. She conducted interviews with 40 minority individuals, asking how they see themselves in relation to the ethnic community and to society. Yoon says the interviews were difficult. Some were so emotional that the interviewees, particularly those among the Korean minority population, couldn’t complete the process. “The majority of Koreans living in Japan are third generation. Their appearance, language, names, and cultural identity are all Japanese, yet they are not accepted by their society,” she says.

Because of this, many are compelled to hide the fact that they are Korean. “They carry a burden in their hearts, thinking, ‘One day, I will have to tell my friends who I really am,’” says Yoon. “There is so much shame [for them] in the Korean identity.”

For Yoon, who is Korean American, this research has been “a life-altering experience...It’s affected me so much that I want to do this for the rest of my life,” she says. She hopes to become a professor of anthropology or sociology. “What motivates me is the hope that I can change how people perceive things.”

Yoon spent five months researching in Tokyo, Seoul, and smaller cities in Japan and Korea.

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